Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Swimming Pool Maintenance - Winterizing Your Pool

Winterizing your in-ground swimming pool is essential if you expect to enjoy the next summer in your backyard, splashing in the water. As a pool owner, you definitely don't want to open your swimming area when the weather warms to find that your pool isn't fit for neither man nor beast! Especially if you are just getting your pool installed at home, it's important to know the proper procedures so there are no problems in the future.

When you "winterize," or close, your swimming pool you take steps to protect the bowl from the elements, and to maintain clean surfaces as much as possible so that there is less work to do in the spring or summer. If you leave your water in the pool, definitely take note of these tips:

1) Have your water tested for the correct chemical balance. Your local pool supplies shop may offer this service if you're not sure how to do it yourself. It's important to make sure the alkalinity and pH is right in your water because this helps keep the water clean and prevents stains and other damage during the winter. If you visit your pool store, you may see winter kits for sale - these are helpful in maintaining your water's freshness and color.

2) If you have reason to believe the temperature will drop to below freezing, be warned how this will affect your pool. Water expands when it freezes, and this could mean damage to your liner or bowl and cause leaks later on. You may wish to keep your water level low enough so this doesn't happen - keeping it below your skimmers will help.

3) Your plumbing lines and filters should be cleared of water. If you're not sure how to do this yourself, your local pool experts can take care of this for now.

4) Invest in a strong cover for your pool. This will help keep out debris that you would otherwise skim out on a regular basis.

Taking care of your pool when you are not using it will help ensure that your swimming area is perfectly clean and healthy for the next summer period. Take care to know the balance and levels of your water, and consult with pool experts when you can. Once winter is over and the cover comes off, you'll enjoy another season of swimming and backyard fun with family and friends.

Kathryn Lively is a freelance writer specializing in articles on Norfolk pool supplies and Virginia Beach pools.